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The Injustice of the Government Shutdown

October 3, 2013

It really goes without saying how utterly unfair shutting down the government is to the low level workers (many of whom likely live paycheck to paycheck), while the high government officials doing the shutdown (as well as the President and others) who get paid a lot more, and could afford losing pay, still get theirs. In my old political writings, in response the the previous shutdown almost 20 years ago, I had said: “The biggest irony was in the midst of this whole period, when the federal government was shut down over this wrangling about the deficit. Middle income government workers just stopped receiving paychecks, (needed for rent/mortgage, food and other bills) while both Clinton and Gingrich’s six-figure incomes kept coming. Once again, no one said a word, except the media, and even that was a brief mention. The focus was entirely on Welfare…”. And it still is, with “Obamacare” being the newest form of “welfare” at the center of all this.

Here is a petition to have congress stop receiving their pay while this goes on.

No pay for Congress during the shutdown
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-congress-you-have.fb39?source=s.fb.ty&r_by=9022684

Here are some good articles on this:

Obama To Federal Workers: ‘None Of This Is Fair To You’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/obama-federal-workers_n_4023465.html

(Nice that he acknowledges this, but I Wish he would do the big thing and suspend his salary too.
Especially since the Conservatives are already using this against him (ignoring that the Republicans are still getting theirs too), and of course blaming him, and accusing him of blaming Republicans.

It’s being warned all over the place that this could throw us back into a recession, but then this would be good, so the Republicans, the Tea Party and the rest of the haters could really say “Obama destroyed the economy”, to prove he is the “worst president in history”. They will destroy it themselves to prove he is destroying it.

An example of the utter pathology of this thinking, this one is unbelievable, and shows what exactly the Right thinks about the “little people”:

Fox’s Varney On Furloughed Federal Employees: “I Want To Punish These People”
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/03/foxs-varney-on-furloughed-federal-employees-i-w/196261

Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House
http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation/Wall-Street-Visits-Washington-the-Grand-Bargain-Returns-and-Other-Tales-from-the-Kidnap-House

Al Gore: GOP Guilty Of ‘Political Terrorism’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/al-gore-gop_n_4003376.html

This Is What’s Happening To Your Congressman’s Paycheck Thanks To The Government Shutdown
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/congress-pay-shutdown_n_4019843.html

Obama: Government Shut Down By Republicans On ‘An Ideological Crusade’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/obama-government-shutdown_n_4024208.html

John Boehner Could End Shutdown Today If He Wanted To
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/02/john-boehner-end-shutdown_n_4030766.html

GOP’s shutdown debacle resembles our first … in 1879!
http://afro.com/sections/news/news-from-around-the-web/story.htm?storyid=79911

GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer Won’t Give Up Salary During Shutdown Because It’s ‘What I Earn’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/kevin-cramer-shutdown_n_4037932.html

When I couldn’t feed my family: My trip to the soup kitchen was an invaluable lesson in humility and charity. I wish Republicans would learn it too
http://www.salon.com/2013/09/23/when_i_couldnt_feed_my_family
“Punishing the poor for lacking money is bullying those who have found themselves weakened in an economy that is taking no prisoners.”

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From → Politics

13 Comments
  1. Some more stories that keep coming up:

    Elizabeth Warren Slams Republican ‘Anarchy Gang’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/elizabeth-warren-republican-anarchy_n_4044508.html

    Lee Terry Needs His Salary During Government Shutdown To Pay For His ‘Nice House’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/lee-terry-government-shutdown-nice-house_n_4044511.html

    Dennis Ross, GOP Rep: ‘Pride’ Is Why Republicans Won’t Budge On Government Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/dennis-ross-government-shutdown_n_4050231.html

    To Understand the Shutdown You Have to Grasp the Mindset of the GOP Base
    http://billmoyers.com/2013/10/05/to-understand-the-shutdown-you-have-to-grasp-the-mindset-of-the-gop-base

    Bill Moyers Essay: On the Sabotage of Democracy
    http://billmoyers.com/segment/bill-moyers-essay-shutdown-showdown

    Hillary Clinton: Government Shutdown Shows ‘Scorched Earth’ Politics
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/hillary-clinton-government-shutdown_n_4050199.html

    John Kerry Warns Congress: Think ‘Long And Hard’ About Government Shutdown’s Global Message
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/john-kerry-government-shutdown_n_4049758.html

    Rest Of The World Thinks Congress Is A ‘Laughing Stock’ For Government Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/government-shutdown-international_n_4039527.html

    Pentagon Furloughs: Most Of Its 400,000 Civilian Employees Ordered Back To Work
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/pentagon-furloughs_n_4050135.html

    More Than A Half A Million People Sign Petitions Calling For Congress To Surrender Pay During Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/congress-pay-petitions_n_4046402.html

  2. Bob Schieffer Challenges John Cornyn On Obamacare
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/06/bob-schieffer-john-cornyn_n_4054600.html

    Cornyn repeatedly blamed President Obama for refusing to negotiate on defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown. Cornyn referred to the president as “AWOL.”

    “Ted [Cruz] and I share the concern about what Obamacare is doing to our economy.”

    The CBS host responded: “But that’s besides the point. The law has been passed. Why not keep the government running and then everybody can sit down and decide what they want to do about it?”

    Cornyn again tried to lay the blame on Democrats for not allowing Obamacare cuts to be part of a shutdown solution, but Schieffer quickly cut him off.

    “Senator, isn’t there something wrong when you say “I won’t fund the government unless I can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote?

    Lee Terry Apologizes For Refusing To Give Up Salary During Shutdown To Pay For His ‘Nice House’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/06/lee-terry-salary_n_4054283.html

    Warren Buffett Compares Debt Ceiling Politics To Nuclear Bomb
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/buffett-debt-ceiling-bomb_n_4056861.html

    Peter King: ‘The Republicans Should Not Have Started This’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/peter-king-republicans_n_4057840.html

    Poll: Republicans’ Handling Of Shutdown Increasingly Unpopular
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/poll-republicans-shutdown_n_4059305.html

  3. Boehner’s premis of blaming Obama is that Obama “won’t talk” (negotiate), and that with this, he is demanding “unconditional surrender”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/john-boehner-debt-ceiling_n_4066123.html

    Here was a good response to his Facebook post where he claims “The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness – reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under ObamaCare. It’s as simple as that. But it all has to begin with a simple discussion.”

    “The discussion is over – has been for a long time Boehner. You were asked by the President for six months to sit down and have a discussion and you refused. Now you want to talk? Stop holding the country and Democracy hostage by trying to negotiate something that doesn’t exist. The ACA is the law – already in motion. Get over it and do your job.”

  4. Obama: Complaints About Federal Employees ‘Destructive’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/obama-federal-employees_n_4074154.html

    “President Barack Obama says long-standing views that federal workers are lazy or don’t do important work have contributed to the government shutdown. Obama says federal employees work hard daily providing a range of services to veterans, business owners, potential homeowners and others.

    He says he’s been distressed by anti-federal worker rhetoric he calls ‘damaging and destructive.’ He says a contributing factor in the shutdown is the attitude that civil service workers somehow aren’t providing important services and value to the country.”

    Republican Party’s Rating Plummets To ‘Record Low’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/republican-party-rating_n_4072716.html

    Conservative Columnist: Obamacare Campaign Is ‘Suicide Of The Right’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/john-podhoretz-obamacare_n_4071794.html

    Government Shutdown Blamed On Republicans: Poll
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/government-shutdown-republicans-poll_n_4069254.html

    Poll: Republicans ‘Badly Damaged’ By Shutdown Battle
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/10/poll-republican-shutdown_n_4080942.html

    John McCain Blames Tea Party For Government Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/10/john-mccain-tea-party_n_4075052.html
    (The conservatives have seemingly basically disowned him completely by now, with FB meme’s saying stuff like “maybe it’s time for him to retire”, casting him on the Obama scrap heap, basically).

  5. Conservative Shutdown Architects Host 1 Percent Fundraiser As Nation Hurtles Toward Catastrophe
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/heritage-foundation-fundraiser_n_4085620.html

  6. This Is the Supreme Court’s/(Citizen’s United) Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mansur-gidfar/this-is-the-supreme-court_b_4086269.html

    Which leads to (in the comments):
    Koch Industries and Citizens United Back Dissidents
    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/10/koch-industries-and-citizens-united-back-dissidents.html

    Bernie Sanders Blames Citizens United For Government Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/bernie-sanders-citizens-united_n_4070923.html

    The Ten Hardline Conservatives Pulling the Strings of the GOP Shutdown
    http://billmoyers.com/2013/10/11/the-ten-hardline-conservatives-pulling-the-strings-of-the-gop-shutdown/

    The Tea Party Republicans’ Biggest Mistake: Confusing Government with Our System of Government
    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19387-the-tea-party-republicans-biggest-mistake-confusing-government-with-our-system-of-government

    Morgan Griffith, GOP Rep, Compares Default To American Revolution
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/12/default-american-revolution-morgan-griffith_n_4089911.html

    “We have to make a decision that’s right long-term for the United States, and what may be distasteful, unpleasant and not appropriate in the short run may be something that has to be done,” Griffith said, according to The Hill. “I will remind you that this group of renegades that decided that they wanted to break from the crown in 1776 did great damage to the economy of the colonies. They created the greatest nation and the best form of government, but they did damage to the economy in the short run.”

    Meaning, if they destroy the economy, they can still blame it on Obama.

    The Radicalization of the GOP is the Most Important Political Story Today
    http://billmoyers.com/2013/10/10/the-radicalization-of-the-gop-is-the-most-important-political-story-today/

    What ‘Defunding Obamacare’ Really Means
    http://billmoyers.com/2013/10/11/what-%E2%80%98defunding-obamacare%E2%80%99-really-means/

    Congress Getting Paid During Shutdown Strikes A Nerve
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/12/congress-getting-paid-during-shutdown_n_4089708.html

    Furloughed Workers, Military Vets Facing Creditors, Draining 401Ks
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/furloughed-workers-shutdown_n_4086358.html

    The American Public’s Shocking Lack of Policy Knowledge is a Threat to Progress and Democracy
    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19279-the-american-publics-shocking-lack-of-policy-knowledge-is-a-threat-to-progress-and-democracy

  7. House Republicans Changed The Rules So A Majority Vote Couldn’t Stop The Government Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/13/house-republicans-rules-change_n_4095129.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/louise-slaughter-rules-change_n_4098893.html

    This Isn’t The Party Of Abraham Lincoln, And It Hasn’t Been For A Long Damned Time
    http://www.upworthy.com/this-isnt-the-party-of-abraham-lincoln-and-it-hasnt-been-for-a-long-damned-time-7?c=ufb1

    Mike Huckabee: Shutdown A ‘Stupid Tactical Blunder’ For Republicans
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/huckabee-shutdown_n_4098418.html

    Poll: Republicans’ Handling Of Shutdown Gets Low Marks From 3 Out Of 4 Americans
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/republicans-shutdown-poll_n_4098496.html

  8. Baby Bargains ‘Like The Tea Party’ In Satirical CollegeHumor Short
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/baby-bargains-like-the-tea-party-collegehumor_n_4100357.html

    Here’s a hard hitting one:
    Frightened people in Congress who won’t accept a black President are what’s causing the deadlock
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/scared-whites-causing-shutdown-article-1.1485722

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz On The Real Reasons Behind The Government Shutdown
    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/archive/segment/debbie-wasserman-schultz-on-the-real-reasons-behind-the-government-shutdown/525d97f778c90a65e0000152

    And another that really goes indepth:
    The Tea Party’s own hate will eat it alive
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/tea-party-hate-eat-alive-article-1.1483246

    But what was different then was that Nixon gave a farewell address that was nearly Shakespearean in its tragic insight. Tricky Dick said that once a person begins to suffer from the disillusionment of feeling and asserting hatred for opponents, that person will self-destruct.

    None of the pop psychoanalysis of Nixon went as deep as what the man saw and expressed about himself. Today’s Republicans, by contrast, have no such insight into their own depths. [Eripedia note: i.e, the “shadow” concept I point out in the “Makers-takers’ book]

    Instead, the Tea Party tail has been wagging the canine, in time to the hollow barking of Ted Cruz and his House allies who benefitted from the gerrymandering that gives political shelter to old, ugly growths with roots reaching back to the Confederate bitterness that followed the Civil War, itself a conflict which the South was not prepared to win.

    Segregation grew out of the North’s willingness to sacrifice black people in order to get back together with the bitter confederates. Thusly, the South lost the shooting fight but won the policy war.

    (To end on the article’s positive note):

    That is horrible history, but such bigoted bloodshed could not last forever in the face of black American optimism, a great force of ongoing heroism no matter the hysteria of social limitations…

    Even so, we will come through all of this because, as some GOP members are saying, money still talks and the shutdown has put it in competition with hatred, which — as Nixon pointed out — will destroy itself.

    More polls:
    Americans Mad At Everyone Over Federal Government Shutdown, But More Blame Republicans
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/federal-government_n_4102263.html

  9. 15 Reasons Why American Politics Has Become An Apocalyptic Mess
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/us-budget-crisis_n_4101602.html

    Peter King On GOP: ‘This Party Is Going Nuts’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/peter-king-gop_n_4103195.html

    GOP Debt Ceiling Truthers Want You To Listen To Them, Not The Experts. What Could Go Wrong?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/gop-debt-ceiling_n_4101364.html

  10. First I see this:
    Bipartisan Deal In Hand To Reopen Government, Avoid Default: Kelly Ayotte
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/government-shutdown-deal_n_4108260.html

    Then, later, evidence of it finally going through:

    John Boehner: ‘We Just Didn’t Win’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/john-boehner-shutdown_n_4110028.html

    Rush Limbaugh On GOP: ‘One Of The Greatest Political Disasters I’ve Ever Seen’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/rush-limbaugh-gop-shutdown-disaster-exist_n_4109640.html

    John Boehner Should Probably Avoid His Facebook Page For Awhile After Shutdown Climax
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/john-boehner-facebook-shutdown_n_4111191.html

    In these last two, ultraconservatives begin disowning Republicans.
    Makes me think back a few years ago, where there was a liberal and a conservative demonstration on the Capitol Mall in Washington, and conservatives commented on how clean they left it, and how dirty the liberals left it, and were using this as the ultimate character judgment against the Left. Still not sure how true those reports were, and if the truth was being spun in whatever way there. But even if the conservatives were physically cleaner, in these comments toward Boehner, you can see how truly dirty their hearts are!
    All because they were not able to pull off bringing down either Obamacare, or bringing down the whole economy in retaliation and having it pinned on Obama!

    Now, the retrospection begins:

    Senate Republicans: GOP Didn’t Gain Anything By Forcing Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/senate-republicans-government-shutdown_n_4109845.html

    Finally, by evening:

    Government Shutdown: Congress Votes To End Funding, Debt Standoff (UPDATE)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/government-shutdown-debt-ceiling_n_4111483.html

    “The government shutdown is dead. Obamacare is alive…”

    Republicans Back Down, Ending Crisis Over Shutdown and Debt Limit
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/us/congress-budget-debate.html

  11. Why Elizabeth Warren Is ‘NOT Celebrating’ The End Of The Government Shutdown
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/elizabeth-warren-government-shutdown_n_4114818.html

    Will the GOP learn from its failures?
    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/will-the-gop-learn-its-failures

    The Shutdown Is Over! So … What Happens Now?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/shutdown-ends-heres-whats-next_n_4117386.html

    Michele Bachmann: Government Reopening Is ‘A Very Sad Day’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/michele-bachmann-government-reopening_n_4115780.html

    John McCain: ‘I Guarantee’ Government Won’t Shut Down Again
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/john-mccain-government-shutdown_n_4115462.html

    More on these super-rich figures (whose JBS-founding father was worried about the negative influence of blacks and communism) behind all this

    A Field Guide to the Koch O’ Nuts Behind the Near Government Default
    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/10/12274/field-guide-koch-o%E2%80%99-nuts-behind-near-government-default

  12. Government Shutdown’s Impact Detailed In New Report
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/government-shutdown-impact_n_4234817.html

    And I’ve seen conservatives make a meme out of it, that it’s another “liberal lie”. It’s like the tables have turned, and it’s the conservatives denying something they have done have cost the taxpayers money.

  13. Missed this one:

    Tea party ringleader admits the GOP shut down the government for nothing
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/16/1247832/-Tea-party-ringleader-admits-the-GOP-shut-down-the-government-for-nothing#

    Ran across it from this article from today:
    John Boehner’s Budget Outburst Shows Right-Wing Groups Have Jumped The Shark
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/14/john-boehner-right-wing-groups_n_4445626.html

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